horizontal line

Bass roles in Handel’s operas have long been saddled with a reputation for being rather one-dimensional characters, being either blustering, scheming villains or doddery old paternal figures who dispense sage advice. This CD, according to David Vickers’s booklet note, ‘is designed to explore how Handel’s bass arias for different sorts of dramatic and literary contexts are superb musically, contrasting stylistically and insightful emotionally’, and Christopher Purves gives us masterful, dazzling and powerful performances of scenes from 15 of the composer’s dramatic works, lithely and splendidly supported by up-and-coming ensemble Arcangelo and conductor Jonathan Cohen. In short, this is the most outstanding album of its kind I’ve ever heard from any singer, better by far than Ildebrando D’Arcangelo’s recent unidiomatic and leaden recording of Handel’s Italian arias.

Adrian Horsewood Read the full review on Agora Classica


   Read full review   


To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.



Read more classical music reviews online here:



Early Music Today, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing